It was with a certain bemusement, combined with head-shaking and teeth-gnashing that I read some of the comments by now-famous Juror B37 in the George Zimmerman trial. Among the many unfortunately revealing answers, the one that stood out for me was this passage from her interview with Anderson Cooper,
When asked if she'd like George Zimmerman on a neighborhood watch in her community, she didn't answer at first, but then eventually said, If he didn't go too far. ... He just didn't stop at the limitations he should have stopped at." Needless-to-say, "if he didn't go too far" is a pretty wide loophole you're giving the guy, given that he's already on record as Going Too Far. That's like asking someone if they'd hire a bank robber if you'd hire him to watch your money, and answering, "As long as he didn't rob me, sure." And of course, it would be nice if she was asked to explain what those "limitations" were (ahh, such a nice, sweet word, limitations...) that he didn't stop at. Not listening to the police dispatcher telling him to stay in the car? Not stalking an unarmed teenager? Not killing a kid? D) All the above?
However, to his credit, the reason Anderson Cooper didn't ask that question was because he didn't give up on the first one, and kept asking for an answer to his question. And finally Ms. B37 said that since "he's learned a good lesson," she "would feel comfortable having George" on the community watch in her neighborhood.
All other things aside, it's heartwarming to know that after such a long, arduous trial, the juror is able to come through it on a first-name basis with the man who killed an unarmed teenager. Less heartwarming was her certainty that George learned a good lesson. Honestly, for all we know, the lesson George learned was that you can shoot dead an unarmed black kid in Florida and get away with it scot-free. Then again, for all we know, she does consider that a good lesson.
Mainly though, I think that Anderson Cooper didn't ask the right question. The question isn't, "Would you like it if George Zimmerman was on a neighborhood watch in your community?" The question to have asked her was -- "Would l you like it if George Zimmerman was on a neighborhood watch in any community you were walking through, and you were black?"
Finally, it's worth noting that Juror B37 has signed a book deal with a literary agent. There is no confirmation yet, however, as to whether the book will be titled, Oh-oh! B37: License to Kill.
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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